Taxation = Theft – LewRockwell

Theft is defined as “the taking of another person’s property or services without that person’s permission or consent.”

Almost invariably, governments pass tax laws and set tax rates without any consultation with the citizenry. Further, no final approval is sought by the citizenry that they consent to the tax or the rates. It is simply imposed.

Most of us tend not to regard taxation as theft, yet, by definition, that’s exactly what it is.

But some countries, notably the US, go further in disguising the theft, by stating that the payment of tax is “voluntary.” I personally am not aware of a single instance in which an individual or corporation decided not to pay a tax and, if discovered, was allowed to go unpunished. A typical penalty is a fine equal to the tax amount, plus compounded interest on both the tax and the fine. Such a condition is anything but voluntary.

The US also has a tradition of treating the payment of tax as being “patriotic.” Avoiding tax is deemed unpatriotic—therefore, citizens should take pride in paying tax and, in fact, many Americans do claim that they’re proud to pay tax. It would also seem likely that some resent taxation, but want to appear patriotic, whilst others truly wear taxation as a hair shirt with pride.

However, if we define taxation as what it is—theft—it would be far less likely that either of these factions would be taking this position. After all, no one takes pride in being robbed.

What Has Government Do…
Murray N. Rothbard
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